China has said it is “open” to a defence ministers’ meeting with the US at a regional security forum, in another apparent signal that Beijing wants to revive lines of communication after a spike in tensions.
Chinese Defence Minster Wei Fenghe and his US counterpart Lloyd Austin will both be in Cambodia for the five-day Asean Defence Ministers’ Meeting-Plus (ADMM-Plus), where China and the US are “dialogue partners”.
Asked whether a meeting might take place between the two, a Chinese defence ministry spokesman said: “China is active and open to exchanges with the US during the [ADMM-Plus], and relevant departments of the two sides are maintaining communication and coordination on this.”
In late-July 1956, three months before the Suez Crisis, British Prime Minister Anthony Eden wrote a letter to U.S. President Dwight Eisenhower. At this stage it had become clear that Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser wanted to seize the Suez Canal, a key global shipping route and at that time still under the control of the British. “We cannot afford to allow Nasser to seize control of the canal,” Eden wrote, “If we take a firm stand over this now, we shall have the support of all the maritime powers. If we do not, our influence and yours throughout the Middle East will, we are convinced, be irretrievably undermined.”
The situation in the South China Sea today is very different to the situation in Egypt in the summer of 1956. The British at the time could be confident that Nasser was indeed moving to nationalize the Suez Canal. Today, despite much noise emanating from Washington, it is by no means clear that the Chinese have any intention of seizing the island of Taiwan with military force. Yet one can imagine that letters very similar to the one written by Eden are being written in Washington and read in capitals all over the world.
In 1956 the British sensed, correctly, that if they fought for the Suez Canal and lost this would precipitate a sharp decline in British influence in the world. Today America senses something very similar with respect to Taiwan. This feeling has built up in Washington because of what can only be described as the dismal failure of U.S. foreign policy strategy in Europe. This failure has become manifest in the wake of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
The Biden administration said on Thursday that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman should have immunity in a lawsuit filed against him in the US over the murder of Jamal Khashoggi.
In a court filing made by Department of Justice lawyers late on Thursday at the request of the US State Department, the crown prince’s recently appointed role as prime minister was cited as grounds for immunity.
“The State Department recognises and allows the immunity of Prime Minister Mohammed bin Salman as a sitting head of government of a foreign state,” the court filing reads.
It added that in making the determination, the State Department “takes no view on the merits of the present suit and reiterates its unequivocal condemnation of the heinous murder of Jamal Khashoggi”.
Uncle Sam now has nuclear weapons held to humanity’s head. Washington’s recently released Nuclear Posture Review clarified that launching nuclear weapons in a first strike is indeed on the table, to “achieve U.S. objectives if deterrence fails.” This came after President Joe Biden acknowledged that his administration’s proxy war in Ukraine has brought humanity closer to nuclear “Armageddon” than at any time since the Cuban Missile Crisis.
This month, the Pentagon announced it is setting up a new command, based in Germany, overseeing the training and equipping of Ukraine’s military during its fight with Russia. The command is named Security Assistance Group-Ukraine, or SAG-U. TheNew York Times reported the command will give the proxy war a “formal structure…roughly modeled on U.S. train-and-assist efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan over the past two decades.” The American people may have largely rejected the “forever wars” of the last twenty years, but the American Empire is eager to launch “long term” conflicts with Russia and China.
A possible reason for the decision to establish this new command may be to obscure the level of funding going to the proxy war, making it more difficult for American civilians and journalists to discern where the money comes from and just how much is being spent.
The UNICEF in a report expressed concerns over the humanitarian, climate and economic challenges in Afghanistan, saying that 13.1 million children are in need of humanitarian assistance in the country.
According to UNICEF: "24.4 million people in need of humanitarian assistance. 13.1 million children in need of humanitarian assistance. 1.1 million severely acutely malnourished children under the age of five years expected to need SAM treatment."
UNICEF said that 79 percent of households have reported that they do not have sufficient water for their daily needs, including for drinking, cooking or bathing.
“My brother and I are working. We go to school and then work half of the day,” said Musa, a child laborer.
“I collect bottles of Pepsi every day and then take bread home,” said Hussien, 6.
“I don’t have heating materials. The price of everything is spiking,” said a resident of Kabul.
The Ministry of Economy (MoE) said that there is a need for investment in infrastructural projects in order to alleviate economic challenges.
Fatima, 8, is an orphan, who is selling bread on a street in capital city of Kabul. Fatima is in the second grade but she sees no clear future for herself, as the schools beyond grade six remained closed for female students.
“The money which I earn, I give it to my mother. As much as I work, I give it to my mother to bring us food,” Fatima said.
Many children are engaged in work and are deprived of education due to poverty that is rising across the country of around 40 million population.
“We should be helped so we stop being on the street and instead learn something,” said Arash, a child laborer.
“There is no work. Our economic condition is also not good, and thus I left the school,” said Sefatullah, a child laborer.
Commanders and soldiers within an elite unit stationed in the Jenin area of the West Bank have independently distributed leaflets over the last several days threatening to shoot Palestinians who cross the separation barrier.
Palestinian residents were warned that if they made "any mistake," the soldiers would harm them. The IDF renounced the act, calling it an "error."
A letter bearing the unit's insignia posted near the security fence reads in Arabic: "Beware! The special forces unit belonging to Golani has arrived in the area. If you cross the fence, fire will be opened directly at you. We advise you not to test our patience and abilities, otherwise you will regret it. Our special systems and our fighters follow you and see you throughout the day! We promise you that we will hurt you and will hold you accountable if you make any mistake!"
A North Carolina trucker has waged legal war against the entire police department of Phoenix, Arizona - after officers seized $39,500 in cash from him at a local airport alleging it was drug money.
The suit, filed in April by Triple J Trucking owner Jerry Johnson, demands the sum returned in full for what he slammed as 'false accusations' by the force, who seized the money during an August 2020 stop at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport.
Johnson, the owner and operator of his Charlotte-based business, alleges that seizure was unjust, saying he had saved the money to purchase a new semi-truck.
After taking a public poll that drew over 15 million voters in 24 hours, Twitter owner Elon Musk decided, based on popular demand, to reinstate former President Donald Trump’s suspended Twitter account.
Invoking the Latin phrase “Vox Populi, Vox Dei,” which translates to “the voice of the people is the voice of God,” Musk announced less than 30 minutes after the poll officially ended that the 45th president’s account would be brought back online.
When Trump’s Twitter account reappeared, all of his previous tweets, which stopped in January 2021 when he was initially suspended, became visible. Something interesting began happening within the comment sections of several of his older tweets, especially the most recent or “newest” tweet on his Twitter feed.
Addressing Jewish Republicans on Saturday, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis said the West Bank was “not occupied territory” but rather a disputed area that is a historical homeland to Jews, as he talked up his Israel bona fides amid mounting challenges to Donald Trump’s control of the party.
DeSantis was a star attraction at this weekend’s Republican Jewish Coalition conference in Las Vegas, where he delivered a 25-minute speech on Saturday night while Trump was relegated to a less desirable timeslot and only appeared via video.
The popular Florida governor told the crowd about a trade mission he’d led to Israel, “the biggest trade mission Florida’s ever done.”
Webmaster addition: Ron? When was the last time you visited there?
Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) on Sunday voiced agreement with the Biden administration’s decision to grant sovereign immunity to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, shielding the autocrat from a lawsuit over the 2018 killing of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi.
“What the administration has touted this week in granting sovereign immunity to Mohammed bin Salman is in keeping with the practice of custom of lawsuits involving foreign heads of state,” Cotton told “Fox News Sunday” host Shannon Bream. “It would have been a major break if those customs did not grant that kind of immunity.”
Saudi Arabia has executed twice as many people in 2022 as it did last year, according to an AFP tally, highlighting a rise in capital punishment that is condemned by rights groups.
The latest execution was of a Jordanian national convicted of smuggling amphetamine tablets, the official Saudi Press Agency announced late Thursday.
Webmaster addition: Well, that's one way to deal with drug smugglers! I note that thousands of Americans are dying from smuggled Fentanyl and Biden does nothing, but after any shooting, Biden demands a gun ban for law-abiding Americans!
The founder of a Taiwanese think tank called for closer coordination between Washington and Taipei the next time any US lawmakers visit Taiwan, a move that is widely expected once the US Republican Party takes control of the House of Representatives in January.
While Taiwanese authorities would likely welcome such a visit, they must learn lessons from Nancy Pelosi’s trip to avoid facing even worse cross-strait tensions in the future, according to Alexander Huang, chairman and CEO of the Council on Strategic and Wargaming Studies.
“We need to work with the visiting party as well as the White House more closely,” he said at a Centre for Strategic and International Studies event in Washington on Thursday.
Shipments of most major Chinese consumer products to the United States fell last month, hit by the triple whammy of dwindling demand, coronavirus disruptions to manufacturing and trade bans.
Despite the upcoming holiday shopping season, Chinese exports to the US were down 12.6 per cent year on year to US$47 billion in October, compounding the 11.6 per cent fall in September, according to Chinese customs data.
Top Chinese exports to the US – such as mobile phones, clothing, toys and furniture – all declined last month, as the pandemic-triggered consumer goods boom turned into a bust under pressure from purchasing power-suppressing price and interest rate rises.
Massive crowds are expected to converge on the capital, fired up by a charismatic ousted premier bent on returning to power. The economy is in free-fall, and the weak coalition government seems helpless to stop it. The countryside has been devastated by hellish drought and biblical floods.
But for a moment, the nation’s attention is riveted on the outcome of a ritual, closed-door process in a drab military compound to choose and install Pakistan’s next army chief — the most powerful figure in this nuclear-armed state and still-fragile democracy of some 221 million people.
Surface-to-air missile systems produced by RaphaelCredit: Raphael Industries
Last year set a record for the volume of Israel’s military and security exports, which surged by 30 percent over the prior year, according to the Defense Ministry’s International Defense Cooperation Directorate. Israeli defense industries reported new contracts worth a cumulative $11.3 billion in 2021 – up from $8.6 billion in 2020.
This year is not yet over, but it appears to be on track to chalk up particularly high sales volumes and a long list of enormous defense deals – and that’s even though the Defense Ministry’s Exports Control Agency has only approved a relatively low number of transactions compared to prior years, according to data obtained by Haaretz. Through September, the agency reported approving just under 4,000 sales contracts – compared to 6,000 in 2020 and 5,400 last year.
Major players in the semiconductor supply chain in East Asia appear to be seeing it as inevitable for them to decouple with China in advanced industries involving sensitive technology, given concerns about the rapid pace of Beijing’s military modernisation.
The United States is taking the lead in building a “Chip 4” alliance with Taiwan, South Korea and Japan for increased economic security over a possible global chip crunch in the event of a contingency between Taiwan and China.
Japan – once the front runner in the global semiconductor industry but now trailing leading chip producers like Taiwan and South Korea – eyes manufacturing and selling 2-nanometer generation chips at Rapidus Corp., a new consortium involving Toyota Motor Corp., Sony Group Corp. and six other leading companies.
The adviser who Otzma Yehudit chairman Itamar Ben Gvir has described as his “right-hand man” helped establish an organization that donates money to incarcerated Jewish terrorists and extremists, including former prime minister Yitzhak Rabin’s assassin Yigal Amir.
Chanamel Dorfman filed the application for Shlom Asiraich to be recognized as a non-governmental organization in Israel two years ago and is listed on the form as the group’s legal adviser, Channel 13 revealed in an exposé that aired Monday.
Shlom Asiraich in a recent flier boasted of having raised over $43,000 last year for convicts such as Yosef Chaim Ben David, who beat and burned to death 16-year-old Palestinian Muhammad Abu Khdeir in 2014; Amiram Ben Uliel, who firebombed a home in the Palestinian village of Duma, leading to the death of parents Riham and Sa’ad Dawabshe along with their one-year-old boy Ali in 2015; and Jack Tytell, who murdered a Palestinian taxi driver in East Jerusalem and a Palestinian shepherd in the West Bank in 1997.
The Times of Israelreported on 18 November the findings of a study conducted by the Knesset on the “accuracy of the Jewish identity claim” by immigrants from former Soviet countries.
The study’s findings, released on 16 November, discovered that 70 percent of immigrants in 2020 were in fact not Jewish. This has aggravated the ongoing debate about the scope of the “Law of Return” and the influence the Israeli supreme court has on deciding who counts as a Jew.
Additionally, the parliamentary findings have found out that those immigrants have not previously adhered to the Jewish faith, nor have they fulfilled the criteria to become a Jew by birth, according to Rabbinic ultra-orthodox standards.
But rather, they took advantage of the “grandchild clause” of the Law of Return, which grants Israeli citizenship to those with Jewish grandparents. The immigrants arrived in Israel with the hope of better living standards – both financially and socially – than those in eastern Europe.
Nonetheless, the results of the study, which was ordered by the ultra-Orthodox Shas party, a key ally to Prime Minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu, might deem these immigrants as “atheists” and consequently not real Jews.
t’s seemed evident for a while that the current fiat monetary system is, at best, unstable. At worst, it’s a Ponzi scheme whose time has expired. If that’s the case, I suspect the central bankers and 0.1% know this and might be prepared to usher in the new system before the old one collapses on itself – even as they loot it on the way down with the most significant wealth transfer in human history.
Every indication is that CBDC’s arrival is imminent. On Tuesday, several global banks announced a partnership with the New York Federal Reserve to pilot digital dollars. Given the ubiquity of credit and debit cards, payment apps and other online payment systems, digital money has been bound to happen for some time. The risk isn’t the electronic part, that’s inevitable – it’s the fact that a central bank will oversee the digital currency.
From my vantage point, it’s impossible to overstate the risk presented by CBDC. Whether it’s a utopian vision based on good intentions or a sinister plot to crush our sovereignty, the result may be the same: control. A Central Bank Digital Currency has all the downsides of fiat money, plus the added layers of surveillance and programmability overseen by the state.
Bill Barr, the former Attorney General, anticipates former President Trump will be indicted based on evidence collected by the federal government, according to the New York Post.
Barr told Margaret Hoover, host of “Firing Line,” in an interview that the Justice Department “probably have the evidence” to “legitimately” charge Trump with a crime based on alleged documents the former President retained after his term ended and he left the White House. The sensitive documents were allegedly stored at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate.
During the interview, Barr said, “If the Department of Justice can show that these were indeed very sensitive documents, which I they probably were, and also show that the President consciously was involved in misleading the department and playing games after he received the subpoena for the documents, those are serious charges.”
Democratic challenger Adam Frisch offered a concession to Representative Lauren Boebert in the hotly contested Colorado 3rd Congressional district seat race.
Unofficial results show that Boebert has roughly 550 votes over Frisch out of the more than 327,000 votes cast in the district. This is even though there will likely be a recount in the district.
The Associated Press has still not called the race for either candidate, given the contest's tightness. Interestingly, Frisch is already calling to concede to his Republican rival even though he is not that far off from her vote count total. It appears that he understands that he won't like to make up the difference.
Webmaster addition: Or that a recount will expose "problems" with the vote.
Smeared, stigmatized, and lied about in Western media propaganda, the mostly Russian-speaking people of the Donbass region were being slaughtered by the thousands in a brutal war of “ethnic cleansing” launched against them by the neo-Nazi regime in Kyiv, which the U.S. installed after the CIA overthrew Ukraine’s legally elected president in a 2014 coup.
Although the Donbass people had been pleading for Russian military aid to defend them against the increasingly murderous military assaults by the Ukraine government forces, which killed more than 14,000 of their people, Russian President Vladimir Putin declined to intervene. Instead, he tried to broker a peace agreement between the warring parties.
But the U.S. and Britain secretly colluded to sabotage peace negotiations, persuading president Zelenksy to ignore the Minsk III peace agreement that the Ukraine government had previously signed, and which had been countersigned by Russia, France and Germany.
Realizing that the U.S. and its NATO allies would never permit peace negotiations to succeed, Putin finally sent troops into Ukraine on February 24. Russian troops went in to support and reinforce the outnumbered and outgunned Donbass Special Forces who had been defending their land against attacks by the Kyiv government for nearly eight years.
The United States is seeking an expansion of its military presence in the Philippines under a 2014 defense pact, U.S. and Philippine officials said, one of the initiatives that will be discussed during Vice President Kamala Harris’s visit that focuses on the defense of its treaty ally in the face of China’s sweeping territorial claims.
Harris will hold talks with President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and other officials on Monday during a two-day visit that will include a trip to western Palawan province facing the disputed South China Sea, which Beijing claims virtually in its entirety.
She was expected to reaffirm U.S. commitment to defend the Philippines under the 1951 Mutual Defense Treaty in case Filipino forces, ships and aircraft come under attack in the disputed waters.
“The United States and the Philippines stand together as friends, partners, and allies,” a statement issued by Harris’s aides said. “Now and always, the U.S. commitment to the defense of the Philippines is ironclad.”
This northern Mexican city across from California is one of the latest to go live with an unreported, legally questionable new immigration strategy that President Joe Biden’s administration has discretely unfurled for months all along the U.S. southern border.
Twice a day, seven days a week since September, Mexicali city officials working closely with Biden’s U.S. Customs and Border Protection, on a secure shared “CBP-ONE” online platform, select hundreds of people a month for their escorted government-to-government handoffs through the land port of entry to Calexico, Calif. Once the Americans check their paperwork, they legally admit intending illegal border crossers like Nicaraguan Maria Esperanza Diaz Ruiz, 42, into the U.S. interior under a questionable authority known as “humanitarian or significant public benefit parole.”
They are free to start new lives under the benefit, with work authorization and the right to apply for asylum part of the package.
As she waited with 25 other selected immigrants for her legal ride to America, Maria told the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) she’d left home figuring she would have to pay smugglers to cross her over the border illegally. But up-trail word from friends reached her down-trail by cell phone that the Biden administration had legally admitted them and many others from Mexicali under the new humanitarian parole program.
They told Maria, “This is real. This is really a real program. This is not a magic trick,” she told CIS.
Democratic Representative Adam Schiff said in an interview on Sunday morning that under Republican leadership the House of Representatives would be 'chaos'.
Schiff, known for his melodramatic pronouncements, made the apocalyptic prediction when asked about his potential removal from the House Intelligence Committee, which he currently chairs, in an interview on ABC News's This Week.